Byline: Holly Haber

DALLAS--The first trading company supported by the Mexican government unveiled some of its wares and revealed plans for wholesale and retail marketing at a ceremony here last week that included remarks by Mexican Secretary of Commerce Jaime Serra Puche.
Jalisco Trading Corp. was formed in February by a group of 22 industrialists, Banco Mext--an export-import bank owned by the Mexican government--and the state of Jalisco in western Mexico to assist small and medium-sized manufacturers there with exporting. With headquarters here and in Guadalajara, JTC offers denim apparel, leather jackets and handbags, sterling and semiprecious stone jewelry, tabletop home accessories and other goods.
"Jalisco is a new way to do business between our two countries," said Serra, who flew in solely to attend the evening reception and press conference at the World Trade Center.
"It has in my view two elemental features that really make it unique," he said. "First, it concentrates very highly on quality, and second, it concentrates on originality."
A crowd of about 100 bankers, venture capitalists and retailers, including Neiman Marcus president Gerald Sampson, attended the event.
Sampson had a private meeting with Serra at which he reportedly told the official that Neiman's was seriously considering opening stores in Mexico. Sampson declined to comment on the discussion, other than to say he had learned the name of a government official to contact for more information. "We don't know if we will ever open stores in Mexico," he added.
JTC is promoting its products through wholesale and retail channels and already has contracts for $20 million worth of goods--mostly private label denim jeans, officials said. Total first-year sales are expected to exceed $40 million.
JTC will go directly to American consumers next month when it dispatches a 32-page catalog, called La Coleccion J.T.C., featuring more than 100 fashion and home accessories products to 650,000 households culled from upscale catalog mailing lists. It also will mail 50,000 Spanish editions to Mexican consumers. The company expects catalog sales will exceed $1 million and plans to print a second book next spring.
Retail pricing of pictured goods ranges from $50 to $250 for sterling jewelry, $90 to $150 for calfskin handbags and $35 to $150 for such home decorative items as pottery and glassware.
In addition, Jalisco is aiming to install franchised carts in 500 U.S. shopping malls during 1995. Shoppers will be able to buy tabletop goods, jewelry and accessories from the carts or order other products from an adjacent interactive touch-sensitive computer screen that displays goods via CD ROM disk.
JTC also is the exclusive agent in the U.S. and Canada for Corona Beer jeanswear, which is made by a Mexican licensee. JTC will introduce the women's and men's denim jeans, shorts, shirts and jackets next month at MAGIC in Las Vegas. The Corona products will be supported by a $4 million print, billboard and television advertising campaign.
The company said it has also contracted Italian designers to work with Mexican jewelry makers to product an upscale, stylish collection that will be introduced early next year.

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